Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Radioactive Contamination Lingers in Fukushima One Year Later

Energy
Radioactive Contamination Lingers in Fukushima One Year Later

Greenpeace International

Greenpeace criticised the Japanese Government’s incompetent handling of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster March 9, saying that its independent measurements show that one year on contamination remains a serious threat to the health of the people, and that the authorities are still failing to adequately protect them.

Following up on similar measurements taken in December1, a Greenpeace radiation monitoring team checked contamination levels in the centre of Fukushima City, as well as the nearby suburb of Watari, finding several hot spots, including 70μSv per hour in a parking garage 50 metres from the central train station, and 40μSv per hour in a water drain next to housing2. These two spots represent up to 1,000 times normal pre-March 11, 2011 background levels in Fukushima3.

“We are finding that radioactive contamination is concentrating in many places, creating hot spots that pose serious threats to health and safety,” said Jan Vande Putte, Greenpeace International radiation expert. “These spots are worryingly located in densely populated areas, but people do not have support or even the right to relocate, and decontamination work is patchy and inadequate at best.”

“Radiation levels have also not significantly reduced, showing that this is a very persistent problem, and one that the authorities are utterly failing to deal with,” said Vande Putte.

The environmental organisation has documented the evolution of the contamination problem and the authorities’ responsiveness in the year since the Fukushima Daiichi disaster began, and not only have many vulnerable people been left exposed to radiation day in and day out, but the extremely slow and haphazard decontamination work is ensuring they will remain at risk for a long time to come.

“People should be given full support to relocate away from high-risk areas such as Watari if they wish4, not be forced to wait for the authorities to eventually get around to decontaminating their communities,” said Kazue Suzuki, Greenpeace Japan nuclear campaigner.

“The government is failing its mandate to protect the people. A nationally coordinated decontamination effort is needed right now, including proper waste management. Full compensation for those affected by this disaster must also be provided,” said Suzuki. “Anything less is absolutely unacceptable.”

For more information, click here.

—————

Notes:

1) Incompetent Decontamination Effort Risking Health of Fukushima Residents

2) Google map and raw data from radiation monitoring

3) Based upon background level 0.07μSv per hour. 70μSv and 40μSv per hour were measured at 5cm, and showed 3.5μSv and 2.5μSv per hour at 1m. This means that people are at risk of being exposed to several times the international radiation limit of 1mSv per year.

4) Greenpeace letter to the Japanese national Government calling for stronger protective and decontamination Measures. Detailed list of demands.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock" — an estimate of how close humanity is to the apocalypse — remains at 100 seconds to zero for 2021. Eva Hambach / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The 13th North Atlantic right whale calf with their mother off Wassaw Island, Georgia on Jan. 19, 2010. @GeorgiaWild, under NOAA permit #20556

North Atlantic right whales are in serious trouble, but there is hope. A total of 14 new calves of the extremely endangered species have been spotted this winter between Florida and North Carolina.

Read More Show Less

Trending

There are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients. Marko Geber / Getty Images

By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson

The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.

Read More Show Less
Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

Read More Show Less
A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

Read More Show Less